Here is a story told by Keith J. Cunningham a business Mogul, the author of “Road Less Stupid”, about the first date he had with his wife before they got married. Ensure to read to the end so you can get the business lessons.
The story is a bit long, but I will tell a shorter version of it.
Alright, let’s get started.
Keith and his girlfriend then Sandi, now his wife, agreed to meet for dinner at a very nice restaurant. As the evening progressed, the range and depth of their conversation got more interesting.
Three hours later he decided to take a rather large risk and venture into uncharted territory. He said to her “I am about to ask you a question I’ve never asked another woman in my whole life,” She cocked her head, braced herself, and said, “Okay. What?”
He asked her “What do you want in a relationship? In a man?”
Without a moment’s hesitation, she responded, “I want to be loved and adored.”
He wrote down her response: “LOVED AND ADORED” with the date on it.
He asked further: “Now, tell me everything that needs to happen and exactly what it would look like for you to feel loved and adored.” She talked and he wrote nonstop for an hour and a half.
One of the things she wanted was a note every day, which seemed like a herculean tasked initially. In his words “If you had asked me to try to conjure up the key to this woman’s heart, it never would have entered my frontal lobe that it would be a note every day. But we’ve been partners and lovers ever since . . . and she gets her note every day! She doesn’t really care whether or not I’m “passionate” about writing daily notes. She just wants the note. It turns out that because she loves getting it, I love writing it.”
Are there things you can learn from this story for your firm? Of course, yes.
1. Without any assumptions, or without trying to figure it out, or dance around the bush about what she loves and wants in a relationship, he asked her directly in the course of their discussion, what she wanted in a relationship, in a man.
The lesson here: Do not make assumptions. If you want to know anything from your clients, ask them. Be clear. Be explicit. Give them the assurance of knowing you are interested and want to hear directly from them.
Whether your clients are representing themselves as individuals, a group or an organization, in talking with them, it is a human to human relationship. People love to be heard. They want to know you care first before they commit. So ask them exactly what they want and what their expectations are. Never ever assume.
2. Without a moment’s hesitation, her response was “I want to be LOVE and ADORED” meaning She knew what she wanted.
The lesson here: Do not think that your prospective clients or target audience do not know what they want. They might not be able to adequately articulate what they want, but they know their pain points. Your job is to find out their pain points, the problems they are having that they want to solve. Help them to properly articulate the problem. That way you will gain clarity and you will know exactly what you need to do to satisfy them.
3. He wrote down her response: “LOVED AND ADORED” with the date on it. He did not rely on his memory to capture and remember it all.
The lesson here: Always write down your findings and feedback from your prospective clients and customers. The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory. Record it where you can have easy access to it even after a long period of time. In your firm, have a way to capture this information so that it can easily be shared with others who will need it if they need to interact with that client.
4. He dug deeper in his findings quest: “Now, tell me everything that needs to happen and exactly what it would look like for you to feel loved and adored.” She talked and he wrote nonstop for an hour and a half.
Lesson here: When prospects clients tell you what they want, do not stop there, ask more questions. Ask follow up question that will let them pour out their hearts about their frustrations, the pain points or problem they want solved by your firm. This will give you more insight and clarity on the matter, and enable you to come up with the right solution for them.
5. One of the things she wanted was a note every day, which seemed like a herculean task to him initially. But they’ve been partners and lovers ever since, and she gets her note every day! She doesn’t really care whether or not he is “passionate” about writing daily notes. She just wants the note. It turns out that because she loves getting it, he in turns loves writing it.
Lessons here: In finding out from prospective clients what they want, you might come across some pain points that seem too demanding to solve. Do not be discouraged or frustrated and withdraw. No! Rather, look for ways to solve the problem for them. You might not have the needed solution directly, but you can refer or direct them to where they can get the needed solution.
Secondly, your clients or prospective clients do not care about your convenience, what they care about is you solving their problem. How you will solve the problem or whatever it is going to take to solve it is not their business. It’s for you to figure it out. You should always remember it is ALL about your client and not about you. The earlier you know and accept this, the better for you.
Thirdly, give your clients what they want. The more you serve them the solution they want, the more you get better at it.
How do you really dig in deep to clearly find what your prospective clients want? That will be my next topic.
If you are interested, kindly indicate in the comments section.
Looking forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, stay safe.
Business Growth Advocate